Norwegian progressive metal band Leprous is continuously building bigger role on the scene as well as dedicated fanbase. Creative talent on albums is one thing but their power can be felt mainly live. No wonder they are back in Europe again after late 2017 EU tour with Agent Fresco, Alithia and Astrosaur. Another compliment goes to the personal relationships as they brought Icelandic rising stars Agent Fresco again. Stability, growth and care for values can be felt also from the album collection of their bass player Simen Børven. Next to his most favorite albums we talked about equipment, touring and his plans regarding next Leprous album.
Deftones – White Pony (2000)
I discovered this album when I moved away from home to attend a musical boarding school at the tender age of 15 – 16. (2003 – 2004) I remember that I used to go to the computer room, the only place they had internet at the time, and then I streamed the album online while enjoying my coffee. Epic sound. Especially the drum sound.
Metallica – S&M (1999)
My mother brought me up around tons of classical music. Now I’m married to a classical violinist. But as a teenager this record dragged me back into both classical and Metallica! …And then St. Anger was released. (Laugh)
ELO – Out Of The Blue (1977)
I’m probably the last generation to enjoy discovering music through my parents physical record collection. When I was 5-8 years old, I always wanted to listen to this record with my father. This is a nostalgic listen for me.
Foo Fighters – The Colour and the Shape (1997)
I have an older brother that started to play drums at the same time as I picked up the bass. At that time we were hugely into grunge, mostly because of Dave Grohl and his past in Nirvana. This record set me on the path of discovering all the old grunge bands.
Michael Jackson – History (1995)
This is probably one of my earliest and most powerful encounters with music in general. I remember this record so well because of the format (CD, my father only had vinyls at that point) and the freshness of the songs and production. My parents picked me and my siblings up from a kids holly day camp when they gave us this record as a welcome home gift.
Bill Evans – Waltz For Debby (1962)
This record was such a breath of fresh air at the time I discovered it. Attending a few music schools I found myself in a place where the magic of music was kinda dead. This is a live recording with tons of space and a live setting which one rarely finds in modern records.
John Scofield – EnRoute (2004)
This records bass player, Steve Swallow, got me into playing with a pick. Even though this is a jazz record he’s able to produce such a gentle and precise tone.
Jon Foreman – Limbs and Branches (2008)
As a believer in Jesus Christ I find that most “Christian music” is really boring and predictable. This record is made by a composer and producer that has put his heart and soul into his music, regardless of people’s preconceptions about faith. For me, this record transcends music, and uses the medium as vehicle for a larger message. A none-forced one.
Sleeping at last – Atlas (2013)
This is an Artist and producer that works mostly alone. His ability to see a whole and keep his vision intact is amazing to me. He also thinks in terms of musical concepts. I tend to think most prog concepts are boring and pretentious. He focuses on science as a inspirational channel – a subject I care hugely about.
John Mayer – Continuum (2006)
The last guitar hero of our time. John Mayer is a complicated guy, and even though I don’t really care about how many Hollywood starlets he’s bedded, I really like his attitude towards music. Continuum, his 3rd release, is a really mature record for such a young guy. The craftsmanship in the songs and production make this record one of my personal favorites.
Would you also like to mention some surprising pieces in your albums collection which didn’t end up in your top ten list?
I guess one of my most surprising albums would be Torun Eriksen’s catalogue. She is a Norwegian Soul/Jazz artist that have had a huge impact on how I analyze lyrics and melodies. Her bass player, Kjetil Dalland, is undoubtly my biggest influence in regards to Norwegian bass players. I did an in depth study of his style of playing while I was studying at the Conservatory. He was gracious enough to share his experience with me at the time. And his approach to fans and students has impacted me a lot. Please check out their new album: Torun Eriksen – Luxury and Waste. Just released. Fantastic record!
What was the first album you bought for your own money?
Americana from The Offspring. I was 11 years old and had a paper route and used my own money to buy the album after a kid in church showed me the record after a field trip… (Ironically enough)
I NEVER listen to the records I’m a part of once I’m done working on it
Please present to us equipment you rely on tour.
I’m all about limitation. I rely on my Fender basses because they are so technically simple. The in regards to my DI I use a Tech 21, Sans Amp VT bass, and a Ampeg SVT blue line (gets my tone to stand out) and Elexir Nano webbed strings! Why play bass if nobody can hear your notes?
Effects: POG, Onkart Gromt – Grom bass (Norwegian Distortion), TC Electronics – Hall of Fame ect…
Could you please mention some challenges you faced on the recent tours within gear and what have you learned from those experiences for upcoming tours?
As my high school music teacher, Roger Jeffs, always said:
Keep It Simple Stupid!
How do you judge album Malina with a certain time distance and what aspects of its sound do you prefer?
My goal on the record was to be inspired by the bass sound in the track Eternal Life, by Jeff Buckley (Grace) I kinda suspected that the guitars would carry less distortion to the sound scape, so I wanted to compensate without taking away from the punch of the overall sound of the stringed instruments. I NEVER listen to the records I’m a part of once I’m done working on it. It feels kinda regressive to do so. I check it out when it’s released and then it’s not ours (Leprous) anymore.
Do you already have an idea, in what aspect you would like to contribute on future release to push Leprous sound even further?
Yeah! I recently contacted my old conservatory and bass professor, Per Elias Drabløs, to ask if I could use his bass collection to search for sounds for the next record (a collection of 30 basses or so) So I’m going WIDE with my bass sound and lines on the next record! Can’t wait (Laugh)